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November 9, 2016 2:07 pm

Leading American Jewish Groups Congratulate Trump on Poll-Defying Victory, Call for Post-Election Unity

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President-elect Donald Trump delivers his victory speech in New York City on Tuesday night. Photo: Screenshot.

President-elect Donald Trump delivers his victory speech in New York City on Tuesday night. Photo: Screenshot.

American Jewish groups were among those congratulating President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday after his poll-defying victory over Democratic Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s election.

In a statement, Stephen M. Greenberg — chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations — and Malcolm Hoenlein — the group’s executive vice chairman — said they welcomed Trump’s “clear commitment to be a president for all Americans and to ‘bind the wounds of division’ after a long and bruising campaign…The Conference stands ready to contribute to the hard work of healing the divides in our country which were revealed at times in stark terms during the campaign.”

Furthermore, Greenberg and Hoenlein said, “we look forward to working with President-elect Trump and his advisors in the transition before his inauguration and in the years to come during his presidency on the issues facing our country, as well as of specific concern to the American Jewish community including strengthening the special US-Israel relationship, the rise of antisemitism and the security of the Jewish people at home and abroad.”

Greenberg and Hoenlein also commended Clinton “on her hard fought campaign” and extended “our deepest gratitude for her lifelong accomplishments in public service on behalf of the American people.”

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American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris also extended well-wishes to Trump and expressed hope his administration would “take early steps to reach out to every American, including concerned minority communities across the land; reaffirm our links to our friends across the globe; and, in the months and years to come, advance peace, security and prosperity for our nation and the world.”

Speaking with The Algemeiner on Wednesday, Rabbi Abraham Cooper — associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles — said, “It’s clear Trump will be a great supporter of the State of Israel and of the commitment to recognizing Jerusalem as the eternal unified capital of the Jewish people.”

“The Simon Wiesenthal Center looks forward to working with Trump on a wide range of issues — first and foremost Israel, as well as Iran, human rights, antisemitism and also the climate on US campuses for Jewish students,” Cooper continued. “It’s going to be a full menu.”

“In his victory speech,” Cooper said, “Trump made a commitment to be the president of and for all the people, including those who didn’t vote for him and the many who are worried and fearful about the future course of the country. I think that this commitment to begin a healing process for what is a very fractured society is extraordinarily important.”

In a letter sent to Trump on Wednesday, Gary P. Saltzman — B’nai B’rith International’s president — and Daniel S. Mariaschin — the group’s executive vice president — wrote, “Among the pressing issues we know you will face in the coming months are domestic concerns such as the economy, health care, our immigration system, and the needs of America’s seniors. The challenges abroad are no less imposing, as an unsettled Middle East, the threat of terrorism, and an aggressively hostile Iran will surely command the concerted attention of your administration.”

“B’nai B’rith,” they continued, “applauds your stated commitment to Israel’s security and your pledge to do everything in your power to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. We recognize that American leadership — and America’s crucial partnership with its democratic ally Israel — are essential to our shared goal of a peaceful and stable Middle East. It greatly reassures us, therefore, to know that Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy and a country that has battled terror and aggression since its independence, will have a staunch ally in the president of the United States.”

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said in statement, “AIPAC congratulates President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence on their election victory. We also congratulate the elected and re-elected senators and representatives who will be part of the most pro-Israel Congress ever, and look forward to working with them and the new administration to further strengthen the US-Israel relationship… Despite their deep differences on a range of issues, both the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates notably shared a common commitment to the US-Israel alliance. Strong bipartisan support for the Jewish state is also reflected overwhelmingly in the incoming Congress. We look forward to working with the new Congress on key legislative initiatives to strengthen the relationship between our two democracies. This election once again demonstrates that support for Israel transcends partisan differences. The shared values and common interests between the United States and Israel are great constants that endure.”

Matt Brooks — the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) — said in a statement, “The RJC could not be happier with the election of Donald Trump and our Senate and House majorities…[Tuesday’s] historic victory for Republicans up and down the ticket is a sound rejection of the failed policies of the Obama administration. Whether it’s the Iran nuclear deal, or the erosion of support for Israel in the Democrat Party, it’s clear the American people are ready to turn the page on the past eight years.”

However, Brooks went on to say, “after a long, grueling campaign, it’s time for the nation to come together. While there are bound to be bruises on both sides of the aisle — Republicans, Democrats, and independents must move forward and heal our differences, for the good of the country.”

In a statement, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) National Chair Marvin D. Nathan and ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said, “We welcome Mr. Trump’s pledge that he will be president for all Americans, and that he will seek the common ground and reconciliation that has been the hallmark of American elections and the transitions that follow. Democracy is more than simply what occurs at the ballot box or during a particular election. Democracy encompasses the full collection of our laws, our norms and institutions that enshrine and protect our freedoms. That work begins today to reinvigorate the idealism of ‘E pluribus unum’ and to ensure that America remains a land of economic opportunity and personal freedom for all people regardless of their gender, race, class, faith, ethnicity, sexual orientation or political preference.”

The Reform Jewish Movement said in a statement, “The people have voted and American democracy is strong. We respect that vote and we extend our hand to President-elect Trump…[Trump] has the opportunity to use his office to bring Americans together, and to move us toward a brighter future. If he does so, we will be ready to work with him for the common good. If he does not, we also stand ready to be fierce advocates for the values that guide us: inclusivity, justice and compassion.”

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein said in a statement, “The [ZOA] happily congratulates President-elect Donald J. Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, their beautiful families, their national advisers, their Israel advisory co-chairs Jason Dov Greenblatt and David Friedman, and the entire Trump/Pence campaign team on their historic victory last night…We look forward to a Trump/Pence administration that will rebuild America, heal America’s internal divisions, inspire all Americans and people throughout the world, and be a great friend to the State of Israel.”

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